Many people are still seething over what they perceive to be a far-too-lenient two-game suspension for Baltimore running back Ray Rice after a domestic-violence incident in February that resulted in him being charged with felony aggravated assault.
A common argument seems to be that NFL players receive harsher punishments for abusing drugs than they do for abusing women (allegedly in Rice’s case).
And there will soon be an example of just that on the Ravens’ roster. The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the team has signed former New York Giants safety Will Hill, who is suspended for the first six games of the upcoming season for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy.
Hill was cut by the Giants in May after losing his appeal of the suspension for testing positive for marijuana (he said it was secondhand smoke). He is a three-time offender of the substance-abuse policy, having been suspended four games in 2012 for use of performance-enhancing drugs and four more last season for use of marijuana.
So even the first time Hill got caught using a banned substance, his punishment was harsher than the one Rice received Thursday. Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter to Rice that he was suspending the star player for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.
“The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game,” Goodell wrote. “This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.”
Many folks were already angry at Goodell for not coming down harder on Rice. It will probably only get worse for the commissioner now that Rice has a teammate suspended three times longer for smoking pot.
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